How to decipher NPI numbers

The National Provider Identifier is a unique 10-digit number for healthcare providers. The purpose of an NPI is to identify a health care provider in standard transactions, such as health care claims, and its use is approved under provisions of the Administrative Simplification of Health Insurance Portability benefit and the Act Liability Act 1996 You can easily learn the identity of an individual physician or organization health care provider by looking up the NPI number in the US government database.


1. Go to the National Provider Plan and search website NPI Registry Enumeration system (see References).

2. Click “Find an Individual Provider” if you think the NPI number is for an individual, or click “Find an Organization Provider” if you think the NPI number is for an organization. Often times, the same NPI number will provide a search result if you type in the “Individual Provider” or “Organizational Provider” search page. If you search by individual did not give results, search by organization.

3. Type the NPI number in the “NPI” box.

4. Click on “Search”.

5. The name of the person or organization corresponding to the NPI number will appear in the results, along with contact information.

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